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Right now, mortgages are having a moment. With interest rates low yet rising fast, home loans are the hot topic du jour, and one that I, as a real estate agent, help homebuyers navigate daily.

Still, just as both buyers and sellers experience wake-up calls when it comes to the real estate market, the mortgage process can be complicated, with my clients’ beliefs often riddled with magical thinking.

For instance, they might catch wind of how their cousin snagged an ultralow interest rate last month (or last year) and presume they can get the same deal today. Or they get excited when a bank pre-qualifies their loan and think that’s enough to make an offer on a house. Sadly, none of this is true and can trip up homebuyers right when it counts.